The main reason for hiring firefighters, one might reason, is to fight fires... not spark controversy.
San Diego officials opted to create a firestorm when they compelled
four city firefighters – over the men's most strenuous objections – to
participate in the city's 2007 "Gay Pride Parade." The four men were
well aware of the aggressively lascivious nature of the annual event
and knew they'd be subjected to a steady stream of sexual comments and
gestures from participants and spectators.
And that's exactly
what happened. The men were sexually harassed and pelted with lewd cat
calls and obscene gestures throughout the parade while riding in their
fire truck amid a host of sexual displays and graphic images.
"Many people may mistakenly think the 'gay pride' parade is merely a 'fun' event," said ADF Senior Counsel Joe Infranco, who is co-counsel in the case. "They
never would have imagined the crude sexual harassment these
firefighters were forced to endure. But in truth, the goal of
homosexual behavior advocates is to undermine society's long-held
values. They continue to seek this, whether by demanding participation
in 'gay pride' parades or by trampling the democratic process to
Adding injury to insult, the four faced
further harassment and retaliation from their superiors in the
department when they complained about their treatment and about being
forced to participate in the event.
They eventually filed suit against
the city for disregarding their objections and then retaliating against
them. On February 17, a San Diego jury found in favor of the
firefighters, and the San Diego Fire Department has changed its policy
so employees will no longer be forced against their will to participate
in events like the parade.
"Government employees should never be forced to participate in events or acts that violate their sincerely held beliefs," said ADF-allied attorney Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Regional Director of the Thomas More Law Center. "We
are pleased with the jury's verdict recognizing the firefighters' right
to abstain from activities that they consider morally offensive and
that subject them to harassment."
This was an important
victory – not just for these four brave firefighters, but for city
employees all over the country who are being compelled to surrender
their deepest convictions at the office door. Please be in prayer for
those who are finding the courage to stand up for their beliefs and
their constitutional freedoms – including the freedom to disagree with
the dictates of a politically-correct culture. And please pray, too,
for our ADF lawyers, as we defend these crucial rights.
POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW